Marketing Rules

Thursday, October 27, 2016
Salima, Central Region, Malawi
Greetings from a very warm Malawi. Sorry to take so long to get the blog going but internet access has been a little difficult up until now. Malawi is suffering from a drought at the moment, the biggest consequence of this that we have noticed is that the power company are rationing power because all the electricity is generated by a hydro power station fed by the lake, the lake is much lower than usual so they are having to conserve what little there is. For old people like us it brings back memories of the miners strike, of course that was in winter, here it is about 30 c in the shade, you have to make sure the barman stocks up the fridge when the power is on so there is enough cold beer when you need it.
We are spending a few days in a lodge on the edge of the lake with a nice sandy beach, the locals are concerned that the lake is no longer lapping at the edge of their village, to us it just looks like the tide is out, the water is about 100 yards away . It has created a nice flat area they did not have before and the men from the village play football on it every evening.

Now please imagine you are in a meeting in the Marketing department of Ethiopian Airways;
Marketeer 1 - "Our customer surveys say that we must offer more meal choices"
Marketeer 2 - "So let's give them twenty choices"
Marketeer 1 - "But the operations guys say they can only deliver three"
Marketeer 2 - "So what, we just give them different names"

And so it came to pass dear reader, when we booked the flights we were given about twenty different food options, low fat, veggie, kosher, fish, meat, low salt etc etc. Gill and I selected different ones, one low salt the other low fat. Having a professional interest in automated inventory I was looking forward to seeing how they managed to get the right meal on the right lap, so imagine my excitement when the trolley arrived. Simple really, they have one fish meal with no salt or fat, it also covers anyone who asked for fish and the sauce was bland so presumably covers many other requests . The meat dish was chicken so that was Jews and Hindus covered and I suspect the vegetarian option was vegan so again killed two requests in one.

So despite our attempts to get different meals we both got the same horrid one, fortunately we ate a nice meal in the greatly improved Terminal 2 before we took off. It is called "The Queens Building" not sure if that refers to Her Majesty or it is gay friendly.

Despite the food disappointment we had a couple of nice flights with an excellent view of the Ngorongoro crater which was the highlight of our last trip to Africa although the journey door to door was 25 hours which is a bit longer than we like, as Malawi is not really on the tourist map there are no easy ways to get here. Tomorrow we catch a very old ship in which will take 24 hours to reach an island further up the lake, at least it will so long as we can get on it, we have heard at least three different pieces of advice about catching it, all of which are contradictory, even the location seems to be in doubt, it does not dock at a port, they just use the life boats to collect people from the beach which is fine so long as we find the right beach.
Other Entries



Happy birthday mum x